Protect Your Rep by Watching Review Sites

454366573The land line. The mail. The human voice. Not so long ago, these were the only communication channels customers had to express how much they liked (or disliked) your staffing service. How times have changed!

Today, customers’ opinions have much more weight and reach. Extreme connectivity, spurred by the rapid adoption of social media, review sites and mobile technology, has made clients and candidates more willing (and able) than ever to instantly share their opinions about your brand and your service.

Anytime, without your knowledge or permission.

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And if you think their reviews are just a bunch of “white noise” that you can ignore, think again:

  • According to a 2011 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 70 percent of respondents “somewhat or completely trust” consumer opinions posted online.
  • 72 percent of potential customers trust online reviews, according to’s recent survey of nearly 3,000 consumers.
  • A Forrester Research survey revealed that 90 percent of individuals put their trust in what others have to say about your reputation.
  • A Harris Interactive report found that “nearly half (45 percent) of Americans who use social media say reviews about a particular company, brand or product from friends or people they follow on social networking websites influence them either a great deal or a fair amount.”

Statistics like these clearly illustrate the power your customers have – and how critical it is for you to continually monitor their opinions on review sites like Yelp, Google+, Indeed Reviews and Glassdoor. For staffing and recruiting firms in particular, a few negative comments from disgruntled clients or unplaceable candidates can really hamper your sales and recruiting efforts. Likewise, leveraging positive reviews can dramatically enhance your candidate sourcing and business development initiatives.

The massive increase in social review participation has made it easier than ever for your customers to instantly share their opinions en masse. It’s also made it more challenging than ever to stay on top of their conversations. So as a responsible staffing executive, you need to turn on your “digital ears” – and start actively managing your company’s online reputation.

Here are a few smart strategies to get you started:

  • Circle the wagons. If you don’t already have one, assemble a social media team. Include people from each department within your staffing firm. As part of your effort, create a set of policies for monitoring and responding to online reviews, including: frequency of checking review sites; acceptable response time frames; processes for resolving or escalating issues; responsibility and accountability. With a designated team and sound policies in place, you can then train and empower your group to effectively address both positive and negative customer feedback.
  • Claim and update your profiles. Even if you haven’t set up listings, chances are somebody else has already done it for you. Visit major review sites like those listed above. Follow the steps to “claim” your listings, and then check to make sure that the information listed is both accurate and complete. Whenever possible, add your company logo and/or a professional photo of your office to your listings.
  • Create “digital ears.” Use social monitoring tools to stay on top of what others are saying about you. Set up automatic alerts for: your company name (including shortened versions and acronyms); names of your branded services; names of high profile company employees (including the CEO/president/owner as well as recruiters); and even competitors’ names (to gather competitive intelligence).
  • Address negative reviews immediately. Instead of dreading a negative review, consider it an opportunity to engage. If your firm has “dropped the ball,” a review site gives you the ideal forum for publicly demonstrating your service process in action. Reach out promptly to the unhappy individual and rectify the situation. With great service recovery, you can often turn a disgruntled client or applicant into true promoter of your business.
  • Be proactive. Building a positive online presence is often the best way to control perception of your staffing firm. For example, PrideStaff actively promotes the wide range of career growth resources we offer through our blog, newsletter and more. We provide candidates who don’t have the skills to be placed today with tools to enhance their marketability. By offering this assistance, we help ensure that every candidate has a positive experience with our organization – and is more likely to speak favorably about us online.
  • Encourage positive reviews. When you do a great job for an applicant or a client, make the most of it! Explain your online reputation management efforts and encourage the individual to leave a positive review on one of your listings.
  • Renew your commitment to creating great customer experiences. Consistently excellent customer service creates true “brand champions” who will rave about your company to others. Even more importantly, service excellence creates loyal customers who will choose you over a competitor, time after time.

Final Thoughts
Online reputation issues can arise at any time, so a consistent and vigilant approach is essential to success. In the end, the staffing and recruiting firms that effectively acknowledge, embrace and leverage the power of the social review space will come out on top – creating fans, brand ambassadors, followers – and ultimately, loyal customers.

As a national staffing agency, PrideStaff has developed proven social strategies that allow us to be leaders  in the markets we serve. To learn more about the tools, training and support we provide our offices – and how we can do the same for your staffing firm – contact PrideStaff today.

MORE: Marketing secrets of successful staffing and recruiting firms

Tammi Heaton

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

Tammi Heaton

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